The UFO Encounter Of Pat Norris And Little-Known Encounters Of The American South

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
April 14, 2023
Estimated Reading Time
12 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Close Encounters

The UFO encounter of Pat Norris one evening in early 1983 is perhaps little-known to many, even inside the UFO community. It is, though, one of the most detailed encounters on record, especially so when we consider that the entire incident took place in only five minutes. Furthermore, it is a sighting that the witness almost foresaw, with a series of strange dreams happening in the immediate run-up to the incident.

Although the sighting was investigated by UFO investigators at the time, it remains unexplained and has all but slipped through the cracks of time, lost somewhat in the plethora of accounts that have been reported since, and continue to be reported each day.

What’s more, as we shall examine, there are many other encounters on record from the southern states around the same time. And many of these sightings share some intriguing details to each other. Of course, whether there might be a connection between these sightings is open to debate.

Before we explore some of those incidents, though, we will return our attention to Pat Norris and the strange events one winter’s evening in the early 1980s.

A Drive Home Takes A Strange Turn

According to the account, on February 3rd, 1983, 28-year-old Pat Norris was driving to her home she shared with her husband, Carl, and their three children in Mobile, Alabama after visiting a friend for the evening. [1] A little after she left Highway 90, when she was approximately 90 minutes away from home, she heard what sounded like an explosion from somewhere nearby.

Almost immediately after, her car began to shake – so much so that she struggled to maintain control of it. She pulled the vehicle to the side of the road and brought it to a stop. A moment later she leaned outside to see what the problem might be. Seeing nothing out of the ordinary, she repositioned herself and set off once more. She did, though, notice how a sudden wind had appeared – a wind that made seemed to make a “high-pitched and roaring sound”.

As she turned around a corner in the road, however, she noticed that the woodland ahead was glowing greatly. To begin with, she thought she was looking at the glow of a searchlight from a helicopter. Even so, she began to sense a feeling of fear rising up inside her. Once more, she pulled the car to the side of the road and brought it to a stop. As she did so, she noticed a “huge object” in the sky approximately half a mile from where she was standing. Although she was sure, she sensed that the explosion she heard was somehow connected to this strange aerial vehicle.

She estimated it was around 80 feet high and around 200 feet across. It moved slowly – perhaps much too slow for its size – going no more than five miles per hour. Then, the object came to a sudden stop, and as it did so the sound of the heavy wind also suddenly ceased.

A Feeling Of “Unbelievable Happiness!”

In fact, she suddenly noticed that it wasn’t just the wind that had ceased – everything around her suddenly appeared completely silent. She no longer had the sense of fear she had a moment ago, however. At this point, she stepped out of the car so she could see the object clearly. As she did so, she noticed how a feeling of “unbelievable happiness” was spreading through her.

She continued to look at the object, taking in as much detail as she could. She recalled that there was some kind of window on the upper section of it, approximately 50 feet across. Remarkably, she could see through this window, claiming that there were around 20 to 30 figures moving around on the other side of it.

She watched them for several moments, none of them seemingly aware of her presence. These strange beings were pale-skinned and appeared around the size of an average person. Each appeared to be dressed in the same style of one-piece suit.

She also noticed that while they appeared human-like, they had particularly large chests, as well as larger heads, particularly at the top, and had no hair whatsoever. The walls of the room appeared to be plain white and curved, with no buttons or dials anywhere in sight.

She then turned her attention to the below the window.

A Look Inside This Futuristic Vehicle

Below the larger window in the upper section was another window, this in sections and made from what appeared to be tinted glass. Below that she could see some kind of door that was closing, moving from left to right. She could also make out “rivets and portholes” across the exterior of the craft.

She managed to focus and peer into the portholes, seeing “huge I-beams like they put ships together with” as well as “beams holding the glass in there”. In fact, she would later state that the general appearance and construction appeared very similar to that of a ship or submarine. So much so, that despite the surreal nature of it, the craft itself appeared as though it could have been built on Earth.

She went on in her report to describe the underside of the object as being “formed into a cross” that was “made with one-foot square mirrors”. Some kind of observation deck was below this, and what’s more, there were several figures on this deck. As she looked at this section of the craft, she became aware of some kind of announcement coming from this section of the ship, a low-pitched sound that she described as almost similar to a growl. At this point, Pat believed that the figures became aware of her.

She could further see several strange pipes on the underside of the craft, something she suspected were weapons of some kind.

An Event That Was Anticipated?

At this point the object began moving once more, heading south of her location. She continued to watch it for several moments, noting that at no point did it head over the highway, and appeared to be purposely staying within the woodland. Eventually, as it moved out of sight, Pat could still track its location from the glow it cast in the woods.

When it had eventually disappeared, she got back in the car and continued on her way home. By the time she arrived, it was just after 1 am. She immediately told her husband of the encounter.

In fact, another strange detail is that Pat had told her husband that she had anticipated such an incident occurring, even hoping it would. She had claimed to have had several bizarre, intense dreams in the nights leading up to the encounter, as in the days that followed.

Also following the encounter, Pat began researching all she could on UFO sightings, checking out numerous books from her local library, as well as researching other subjects connected to UFO encounters.

Perhaps the most intriguing detail from the Pat Norris sighting is the claim that she had “hoped” to see such a craft or have such an encounter. We will come back to this a little later. First, however, it is worth examining a sighting that happened the following month northwest of Alabama in Kansas.

Another Report Of A Slow-Moving Object Only Weeks Later

At just before 10 pm on March 27th in Overbrook Kansas, a similar slow-moving craft was witnessed. [2] According to the report, the witness and two other college friends were driving along the quiet country roads on their way to visit one of their siblings.

The witness recalled that they were in the front passenger seat “looking down while rolling a cigarette” when they suddenly heard their friend in the back seat exclaim, “Look!”, causing them to look in the direction they were looking. Immediately, both the main witness and the friend who was driving could see what had caused their friend in the back seat to call out.

There ahead of them in the night sky was a huge, gray-colored object that appeared to “fill the sky”. They would describe the exterior as metallic and “constructed of plates” that were “possibly held on by rivets”. Although they could only see the underside of the object, it appeared to have an “elongated hexagon” that contained several “flat lights” on it.

The object itself was moving extremely slowly – once more, much like the object witnessed by Pat Norris – too slow for its size. The witnesses also noticed that it remained completely silent and that it remained tightly above the tree line near the roadside.

Several seconds after first noticing the object, the driver of the car brought the vehicle to a stop, and all three of the witnesses got out. They each stood at the roadside watching the object, with the main witness waving their arms and yelling in an effort to attract its attention. They noted that despite the surreal nature of the event, none of the witnesses recalled feeling any sense of fear.

Eventually, the object disappeared over the horizon and the three witnesses got back in the car. Whether there is a connection between this sighting and that of Pat Norris is perhaps open to debate. Each was witnessed while driving their car late at night on an otherwise quiet road, and each featured a large, slow-moving object.

Next, we will turn our attention to several other sightings in the states of the Deep South around the same time.

Other Sighting From The Deep South Around The Same Time

If we take the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee, there are several little-known sightings that were recorded at the same time.

For example, only several months later, at around 1:30 pm on April 15th 1983 in New Orleans, Louisiana, a local resident witnessed a bizarre object shoot across the sky while fishing along the Mississippi River. [3] According to their report, as they were lazily looking up at the clear blue sky from the riverbank they noticed an “oval, light gray object” that was “coming out of the sky” and moving at incredible speed.

It remained in sight for around two to three seconds before simply disappearing “into the blue sky”. He recalled that the object had no wings or blinking lights, and did not make a sound. Despite there being multiple other people at the fishing site, it appeared that he was the only person to have seen the strange object.

Back Road Multi-Witness Sighting In Georgia

Around a month before Pat Norris’ sighting, late on the evening of January 6th 1983 in Hampton, Georgia, a local resident was driving with a friend along a back road near the Atlanta International raceway when they noticed a “very large round craft” that was hovering above them. [4] So fascinated and shocked by what they were seeing, they brought their vehicle to a stop right in the middle of the road.

They could see several flashing lights that appeared to move in a circular motion on the underside of the strange object, which appeared to be just above the tree line. The witness also recalled a strange electromagnetic feel to the atmosphere around them that they felt sure came from the bizarre aerial anomaly. As they watched the bizarre events unfold, they noticed several other motorists had pulled their vehicles to the side of the road ahead of them, clearly also aware of the bizarre object overhead. Of even more concern, some of these people – clearly spooked – had retrieved guns from their respective vehicles.

At this point, the witnesses agreed it was best that they get back in the car and drive away. They did so without speaking, and without acknowledging any of the other motorists. The witness freely admitted in their report that they were “afraid and somewhat dazed”.

Neither of the witnesses ever spoke of the encounter, even to each other. It was only in 2011 – almost 30 years later – when the main witness reported the encounter anonymously online.

Missing Time UFO Encounter In Mississippi

Only the previous evening, at around 7 pm in the rural region of Washington County in Mississippi, another strange and very similar encounter unfolded – one that would also feature an element of missing time. On the night in question, the witness was driving along a quiet rural road on their way to visit their father who was spending time with his siblings at a family cabin in the woods. [5] As the cabin was on the same route as the witness’s route home from work, they had made the decision to drop by for a few minutes just to say hello to everyone while they were all together. It would be a journey that would, ultimately, change their lives.

It was when they were within only a few miles of the cabin that they noticed a strange light appear in the sky to their left. It appeared to be a diamond shape and extremely bright white with a much smaller green light on what they assumed was the underside of the object. It was descending at a rapid pace, doing so in a strange arc as opposed to coming straight down. Then, the strange object appeared to turn in the direction of the witness before it disappeared behind the trees approximately a mile away.

As this was happening, the witness’s car suddenly cut out and drifted to a stop. Incidentally, we might recall that the witnesses in Georgia the next night, while not experiencing any problems with their car did recall a strange electromagnetic feel to the atmosphere.

They reached for the key and turned it several times in the ignition in an attempt to restart the vehicle. Then, something truly strange happened. Although they couldn’t explain why, they appeared to fast-forward several seconds in time. Their hand was still on the ignition key, only now the witness had a distinct sense of “disorientation and confusion” running through them. They would recall in their report that they “knew immediately something was wrong” but they didn’t know what.

They turned the key in the ignition – more by instinct than anything else. Much to their relief, the engine turned over and the vehicle came to life once more. Still feeling uneasy and perplexed at what had just happened, the witness set out again for the cabin in the woods.

Upon arriving at the cabin, the witness’s father told them they had just had a power cut. Once more, although they didn’t know why, they sensed that this blackout at the cabin was connected to the strange object they had witnessed, although their father had insisted this power cut had happened at least two hours previously. When the witness looked at their watch, they were shocked and concerned that it was a little over two hours later than they believed it was. Two hours that they simply couldn’t account for. Feeling more confused than they had previously, the witness quickly made excuses and immediately left, wanting nothing more than to get home.

The witness would keep the encounter to themselves until 2009 when she finally told her husband, who encouraged her to report the incident online. She claimed that she tried to convince herself that she had somehow fallen asleep at the wheel of the car shortly after it had stalled. However, deep down, she knew this wasn’t the case. Still today, almost half a century later, she still has no recall of what happened during those two missing hours.

Another Alabama Resident Has Persistent Sightings In The 2000s

Although it occurred almost three decades later, an encounter in Wetumpka, Alabama – a little under 200 miles from the Pat Norris encounter – is very much worthy of our time here. According to MUFON case file 31948, a local resident of the town made a report of several strange glowing objects moving just above the tree line of nearby woodland.

Perhaps the report of most intrigue occurred at just after midnight on March 1st, 2011, the witness was driving home from work when they saw a glowing, spherical object just above the trees, illuminating the area below. For several moments it remained still, simply hovering in one place. Then, it calmly made its way off into the distance.

Although it remained over the tree tops to begin with, as the witness continued on their way they noticed that it crossed over the highway and across into a field where it eventually disappeared out of sight.

The witness claimed that they had seen very similar objects on several occasions, as had their mother. And what’s more, these sightings seemingly went back years.

One of these sightings occurred several years earlier at around 3 am one evening in Montgomery in 2007. While the witness was at their house, they noticed the strange glowing object moving very slowly across the sky at an altitude of just under 1000 feet. At first, the witness thought they were watching a low-altitude plane or even a satellite. However, the longer they viewed it, the more certain they were that it was something a little more out of the ordinary.

It eventually disappeared from sight but only moments later, it reappeared, this time at a much lower altitude. It hovered in place before beginning to move off once more. The witness began flashing a torch at the craft, and much to their amazement, it came to a sudden stop only seconds after. The witness immediately contemplated if the object – or whatever intelligence was behind it – had “sensed” their presence. After several moments, though, it disappeared again, this time for good.

The following evening, the witness ventured outside at the same time, and once more saw the object appear and move in the same manner and direction as the craft the previous evening.

The witness also reported a daylight sighting that had occurred around the same time (it is unclear if it happened before or after the sighting from their yard). They claimed that on the day in question, at around 4 pm on a particularly cloudy day, they were lying on their bed in their room when they happened to look out of the window. Shocked, they looked out at a “blue and black” object with several blue, red, and green lights on its exterior.

They could see that the object was at a low altitude, just above the top of the trees. From his perspective, the object appeared to be very much disc or saucer-shaped. Although it was moving relatively quickly, it was completely silent, meaning the witness could rule out that it might have been a helicopter.

Just A Small Snippet Of The Many Sightings Worldwide

As little-known as the vast majority of the sightings we have examined here are, they are but a small sample of encounters, not only in the American South during this time, but around the world.

It is perhaps interesting to note that a great many of these sightings took place while the respective witnesses were driving along quiet roads, often at night, with a great many of the objects being at low altitudes at around treetop level.

Of course, how important these observations may or may not be is open to debate. It is interesting, though, that not only did many of the sightings at the time share these details, but the sightings witnessed during the 2000s also contained such details.

We mentioned earlier that Pat Norris had a feeling of wanting to see a UFO in the days leading up to her encounter. We might remind ourselves of the ideas behind the Psychic Internet Theory – that, in part, the intense desire to experience something could, ultimately, cause it to appear, in reality. Could this have been the case with the Pat Norris sighting? Might the intense dreams have somehow caused her to subconsciously cause the strange object to manifest for real?

Although this might explain Pat’s sighting, it perhaps doesn’t explain most of the others we have examined here. We might ask, then, if, for reasons unknown, Pat had some kind of premonition of the upcoming event. And if this was the case, why that has been? Was this something her own mind foresaw, or might it have been information that was pushed into her mind by the intelligence behind the strange object?

For now, the sighting remains unexplained.

The short video below examines some of the most intriguing UFO sightings from the United States.


1 The Apro Bulletin, Vol. 32, No. 2, Encounter In Alabama
2 Slow-Moving, Low-Flying Object, National UFO Reporting Center,
3 2-3 Second Sighting In New Orleans, National UFO Reporting Center
4 UFO Report In Atlanta, National UFO Reporting Center
5 Diamond Shaped Craft Followed By Missing Time, National UFO Reporting Center

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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